THE owner of a Worcester pizza business has told of his relief after winning a four year legal battle.

Wasib Shah, of Caspian Pizza, in London Road, Sidbury and his staff were told in October they had won an appeal against a Birmingham company of the same name over naming rights.

Three of the country’s top judges at London’s Court of Appeal have declared the company, operating since 2002 victors, after the Birmingham business claimed that they had infringed their trade mark in the name Caspian Pizza and their logo.

Mr Shah said: "There is a lot of relief. You can have all the evidence in the world but you're still worried that the judges will not find in your favour.

"It has been a cloud over our heads for four years and it has stopped us expanding the franchise.

"We were told (by the other company) to take the name down, but we were not going to do that.

"The initial case was decided in October 2016 and a year to the day found that the appeal had come in our favour and we were awarded damages of £93,000.

"We had to fork out legal fees well into the six figures, probably about £130 or £140,000.

"We now want to expand the business all over the country.

"It has been an eventful few years, with two arson attempts on the business and a lengthy court battle."

Caspian Pizza Ltd in Birmingham along with their founder, Behzad Zarandi and associate Nadar Zand accused Malvern Hills Estates Ltd and Maskeen Shah the owner of the building in London Road, Worcester of infringing their trade mark in the name Caspian Pizza and their logo.

They claimed they were guilty of “passing off.”

They argued that they had granted a franchise to the Worcester operators permitting them to use the Caspian Pizza name and were to be paid monthly royalty fees for that.

However, they claimed that the Worcester operators refused to regularize the position by entering into a written agreement and failed to pay royalties.

They claimed that the agreement was terminated in 2013 but that the Worcester operators have continued to trade under the name and that in those circumstances they had infringed the trade mark and logo.

However, Caspian did not register the name until 2005 and when their claim went before a High Court judge he ruled that because the name had been used on pizza parlours run by the Worcester operators since 2002 and good will in it had been established there and the name had not been validly registered in the eyes of the law.

However, he refused to rule that the logo had been invalidly registered.

Caspian appealed against the ruling in respect of the name and the Worcester operators challenged the decision relating to the logo.

Now, after a day’s hearing at London’s Royal Courts of Justice three of the country’s most senior judges, Vice President of the Court of Appeal Lady Justice Gloster, Lord Justice Patten, Lady Justice Gloster and Lord Justice David Richards have backed the High Court judge in his decision on the name, and additionally ruled that the logo was also invalidly registered.